WBGO Journal

Saturday 6:30am - 7am

Hosted by Doug Doyle

The WBGO Journal is an award-winning half-hour news magazine that airs Saturdays at 6 am. Reports and analysis, informative interviews and features.

Willie Cole
Willie Cole for WBGO

Award-winning contemporary American Sculptor, conceptual and visual artist, painter and printer Willie Cole was born in Newark but his artwork is loved worldwide. 

Cole, who now lives in Mine Hill, New Jersey and part-time in Los Angeles, is excited about his latest project that will eventually end up in a Newark school.  He'll be using 16 and 8 ounce water bottles to create a 30-foot kid sculpture.  It's not the first time he used water bottles in an artistic way.

Kamala Harris

WBGO commentator Mildred Antenor is tired of hearing that certain candidates aren't "black enough" to run for office or represent certain populations.

Antenor says the most recent example is California Senator Kamala Harris.

Peter Svarzbein
Peter Svarzbein for WBGO

El Paso City Councilman Peter Svarzbein recently spent a weekend in Newark while he attended the Next City's first-ever regional Vanguard conference.

WBGO's Alexandra Hill caught up with Democratic councilman to talk to him about the border crisis impacting his community.

The Secret Life of Bees
Michael Bourne for WBGO

The theatre season is just getting started, it's way too soon to predict theatre awards -- but theater critic Michael Bourne says he's seen a winner off Broadway, The Secret Life of Bees.

Harlan Jacobson / WBGO

On the list of things that must be done over to get right, surely a remake of The Lion King is somewhere down near the bottom. Disney’s 1994 original animated version made about a billion dollars worldwide at the box office. 

So, why is there a remake?

To make a lot of money again, that’s why. 

Marcellis Counts
Doug Doyle for WBGO

Andreas, The Boy Who Imagines is a new children's book that teaches youth how to dream again without needing technology.

It’s the first published work of Jersey City author and songwriter Jeraco Rivers. Rivers says his two-year old son sparked his desire to write “Andreas the Boy Who Imagines”.  In the book,  a youngster uses a special gift to help his single mother get through some difficult times.

Rivers recently sat down with WBGO Media Fellow Marcellis Counts to talk about his message.

Ang Santos / WBGO

The pastures of perfectly lined soccer pitch didn’t always exist as they do at Players Development Academy.

Ang Santos / WBGO

The United States Women’s National Soccer team paraded through the Canyon of Heroes in lower Manhattan, receiving keys to the city from Mayor Bill de Blasio during a post parade ceremony.  New Jersey’s own Carli Lloyd was the first member of the team to speak to the thousands of fans in attendance.

“I'm super proud of this team.  We were obviously here four years ago; it never gets old.  These parades are amazing.  The fans are amazing,” she said.  

Michael Bourne and the Montreal Jazz Festival press corps, wearing their Michael Bourne T-shirts in 2017.

The Montréal International Jazz Festival, like WBGO, is in the midst of a 40th-anniversary celebration. And for two-thirds of its storied history, Michael Bourne has had boots on the ground: this is his 27th edition of the festival.

Isaiah McClain / WBGO

Whether live onstage, in a television production or in one of his many noted films, Michael Shannon leaves an indelible impression. He elevates any creative endeavor in which he’s a part.

But what elevates him? Aside from his partner, actress Kate Arrington, his two daughters, Sylvie and Marion, and his spirit as a practicing musician, it’s an absolute love of jazz.

Tobias A. Fox: Saving Money By Lowering Your Foodprint

Jul 1, 2019
Tobias A. Fox
Tobias A. Fox for WBGO News

Each year millions suffer from hunger and malnourishment, while collectively more than a billion tons of food is wasted globally. WBGO’s Marcellis Counts spoke recently Tobias A. Fox, the founder of a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness for ecological and wellness issues in the city of Newark.

Since 2012, Tobias A. Fox, has been the founding and managing director for Newark Science and Sustainability Inc. Fox was born in Newark and grew up in East Orange.

Michael Bourne
Irish Repertory Theatre

June 16 was Bloomsday, the date when the events of the James Joyce novel Ulysses happened. At a variety of events in New York, the novel was celebrated and read aloud. Theater Critic Michael Bourne instead enjoyed the most famous pages of the novel on stage.

Yes! Reflections of Molly Bloom is playing at the Irish Repertory Theatre.

Click above to hear Michael's review.

Savion Glover
Nina Flowers for WBGO

Legendary tapper, choreographer, director and actor Savion Glover of Newark presents the world premiere of his innovative new work Lady5@Savion Glover's BaRoQUe' BLaK TaP Cafe to the Joyce Theater from July 2 to July 7.

Glover came into WBGO to speak with News Director Doug Doyle about the show that transforms the Joyce Theater into a cafe using dance as a means to illustrate the evolution of thought and self-identity.

Scott G. Brown

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Inn uprising that many say was the beginning of the Gay Rights Movement in not only New York City but around the globe. Author and gay rights activist Scott G. Brown was there. Brown recalls the night of June 28th 1969 and the NYPD raid that sparked the movement.

Frankie & Johnny
Michael Bourne for WBGO

Two highly acclaimed actors get together on Broadway. Audra McDonald plays "Frankie". Michael Shannon plays "Johnny". They’re falling in love — or something like love in the revival of a modern classic. Theater critic Michael Bourne reviews the revival of Terrence McNally's Frankie & Johnny in the Clair de Lune.

Kenny Barron
Doug Doyle for WBGO

Jazz Power Initiative is celebrating 15 years of achievement in uptown Manhattan and nationally with its jazz performance, education and professional development programs.

Three generations of jazz educators came into the WBGO studious to talk about the anniversary.

Ang Santos / WBGO

The Cost of Home campaign is first of sorts, combining the efforts of every Habitat for Humanity across the country into one initiative.  Barbara Dunn with Paterson Habitat says it’s a five-year effort that aims to help millions of Americans.  

“Reduce the cost of their housing,” she said.  “Right now, 1 in 6 Americans spend more than 50 percent of their income and our goal is to focus on those 19 million Americans living is such unaffordable circumstances.”

Alexandra Hill / News

Creative New Jersey recently held its Call to Collaboration forum at NJIT in Newark. A two day event that brings together local organizations and community groups to address issues affecting their communities while challenging them to brainstorm solutions. 

Rolling Thunder Revue’s subtitle is A Bob Dylan Story, told by Scorsese with a little help from his friends at Netflix, which helped Scorsese and collaborators find restore to vibrancy footage of Dylan’s 1975 tour of small venues in mostly small towns across America beginning at Plymouth Rock. They’ve added new testimonials, a number of which are pure fictional flights of fancy. 

'Legacy Lives On' Dives Into Financial Wellness Among Black Women In America

Jun 14, 2019
Charisma Lyles / WBGO

The short film ‘Legacy Lives On’ is a collaborative project hosted by Urban One, a leading voice representing Black culture through news, media, and entertainment and Prudential Financial, an expert in global investment and insurance services.  

A coalition of environmental groups is calling on the multistate agency that oversees the Delaware River watershed to ban fracking and related activities in the area.

The activists hope it would codify a de facto moratorium that has been in place for nearly a decade that prohibits fracking, the treatment and disposal of fracking waste, and the transfer of water for fracking operations elsewhere.

Teresa St. Frances
Doug Doyle for WBGO

Elmwood Park, New Jersey resident Teresa St. Frances would rather be called a "spiritual messenger" than a psychic medium. 

The author of the 2016 book What Happens The Day After?:  Messages From Adolescent Suicides says she knew she had a special gift at the age of four. 

St. Frances sat down recently with WBGO News Director Doug Doyle to talk about her career, connecting with the "other side" and the teenage suicide epidemic.  

Peter Gannushkin / Courtesy of the artist

Drummer Jack DeJohnette, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane and bassist Matthew Garrison have personal history going back more than 40 years.

Michael Bourne

The Tony Awards will be presented Sunday night at Radio City Musical Hall in New York City.

WBGO Theater Critic Michael Bourne has been writing Broadway reviews for 50 years.  He had a fun time looking back and forward in this review. 

Click above to hear his entire review.

Dr. John

The music world lost one of its unique performers this week with the passing of New Orleans legendary pianist Dr. John.

Alexandra Hill / News


New Jersey Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman says Homelessness and housing affordability is an issue that confronts Newark and the entire country. But she says she hopes that as a member of the House appropriations committee, that’s responsible for setting funding levels for federal departments and agencies, she can help steer more dollars toward the nations housing crisis.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Verna Hart’s most recognizable works are of musicians.  She loved jazz and blues.

“Eubie Blake, she named her kids after artists, Eubie Blake,” said Linda Sutton, an art consultant and longtime friend of Verna Hart.  They collaborated on projects.  Sutton helped sell her work.

“She painted almost everybody,” she said.  “You didn’t get to see them all, but she loved jazz.  If you went to her house that’s what you heard, jazz.  While she was just cleaning or whatever we were doing it was primarily jazz.”

Kevin Atlas
Varsity Brands

Kevin Atlas, formerly known as Kevin Laue, has become one of the top inspirational speakers in the United States following a basketball career at Manhattan College. 

Atlas, who in 2009 became the first person with one arm to earn a Division I basketball scholarship, teamed up in February of this year with Varsity Brands, the market leader in sport, spirit and achievement to educate students and faculty about the incredible power of "believing in yourself."

Ang Santos / WBGO

  The shape and cleanliness of New Jersey beaches has come a long way since Superstorm Sandy. Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe expects them to get even better despite concerns over sea level rise from climate change.

Between 45 and 50 percent of Newark residents are underbanked or have no bank account.

“Either because they’ve never had a bank account, or they don’t trust the bank to keep their money,” said Catherine Wilson, President of United Way of Essex and West Hudson.  She says some residents have been boxed out of opening a bank account.